Gym nerds, we have bad news. The stork stand is here to stay.
Additional WAG floor changes:
-Gymnasts cannot begin a routine with an immediate tumbling pass
-Gymnasts cannot perform back-to-back tumbling passes along the same diagonal
Alright, let’s discuss this. I tried waiting a few hours to calm down and be nice about it, but I’ve only gotten madder so here we go.
First off: In the section on artistry in this Code of Points, it very clearly states that artistry is about quality of performance and lies not in what a gymnast does, but in how she does it. Yet every subsequent edit to the Code continues to police more and more what a gymnast can do in her routine.
Personally, I’m not against the principle of the corner rule- an attempt to keep the exercise dynamic and flowing and to encourage gymnasts not to attempt tumbles that they cannot handle without an exorbitant amount of preparation. But I don’t think it’s worded nearly as well as it could be. While the redraft shown here is a bit of an improvement, I still think it would be best as “Gymnast does not begin tumbling pass immediately (< 1 sec) after arriving in corner” or “Gymnast remains stationary in corner in any body position for more than one second” - the second of which would both eliminate the flamingo stands and allow back in choreography such as that before the last pass in Wieber’s Wild Dances routine.
Alright, let’s talk about the new bullshit here.
First off, the opening dance rule. Admittedly, there is something to be said for a little bit of dance before the gymnast launches into her first tumbling run, but in the right situation, a routine begun with a pass blasted sky high can have a LOT of impact. Again, it’s not about what the gymnast does, it’s about HOW she does it- and there are certainly many “hows” that can result in an artistic, interesting routine with a lot of impact. Meanwhile, enacting this rule is going to lead to a shit ton of “bullshit arm waving” in the opening few seconds of a routine, rather than any actual meaningful choreography - unless the gymnast would have done meaningful choreo there anyways.
Second, the acro line rule. It may just be the extremely poor translation and abstruse wording that the code always suffers from, but what it seems they are saying here is that you cannot perform two acro lines in a row on the same diagonal, regardless of what does or does not come between them. Let us for the purpose of argument assume that the “lost artistry” that gymnastics is trying to regain is best defined by the floor routines of Soviet gymnasts in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Would you like a list of 80s and 90s Soviet routines that have back-to-back tumbling runs on the same diagonal that the gymnastics community reveres as some of the greatest artistic work the sport has ever seen?
- Olga Mostepanova 85
- Oksana Omelianchik 85
- Oksana Omelianchik 87
- Elena Shushunova 88
- Tatiana Groshkova 90
- Oksana Chusovitina 90
and many others whom I did not have the time to compile as I’m actually supposed to be studying for exams right now. Even if we argue that gymnastics has evolved since then and we should only examine routines from the last few years, here are some routines that gymnastics fans have creamed their pants over that have two or more runs on the same diagonal with little or no interlude:
- Laurie Hernandez 2013
- Louise McColgan 2013 (the Waltzing Matilda routine everyone loves)
- Sandra Izbasa 2012
- Ksenia Afanasyeva 2012
- Jordyn Wieber 2011-12
- Yulia Belokobylskaya 2011
For the third time, in your own words, FIG: it is not what a gymnast does that makes her routine great. It is the manner in which she does it. The double line either at the beginning or in the middle of a routine allows a gymnast to structure her routine more like an old fashioned three pass routine, leaving her two long chunks of time to dance in rather than three short ones that have her back in the corner prepping before she’s really done anything. That’s right- the very routine structure you are trying to outlaw for being unartistic may actually encourage artistry and storytelling in the routine for a number of gymnasts.
Artistic composition and structure of the routine- or “distribution of elements”, as you have chosen to call it- is very much a stylistic choice that should be left to the gymnast, her coaches and her choreographers as they pursue the best mode of expression for the individual, not policed by the FIG to the point where the artists cannot make their own artistic decisions. These new deductions are almost certain to create many more problems than they solve. Perhaps it would be better to return to the strategy that produced so many of the routines we hail as examples of artistry today- REWARDING those gymnasts who go above and beyond and set an example, rather than penalizing those who are simply structuring their routine in the manner best suited to their talent and abilities.
Can we start a petition to the WAG?
no, no, no, no.
OP, what universe do you live in where you would EVER, for half a SECOND, think what ferlito said was okay?!
let me give you a history lesson, OP. simone is a black woman living in the US, a country that was founded on oppression. black women built this country on their backs. black women were beaten, enslaved, raped, killed, tortured simply for existing. black women had children and had to watch those children experience the same racism they did. black women’s voices were silenced, repeatedly. black women weren’t allowed to vote. black women counted as less than a person - simply for being black women. black women were held down from the minute they got to this country, and this was seen as right.
and they are still being held down. they are survivors of institutionalized racism, constructs that seek to keep them at the bottom of the totem pole, sexism, hatred. they are misrepresented, or not represented at all. they are judged, to this day, for the color of their skin, for the way they do or don’t speak, for the way they act, for the way they portray themselves. inherent parts of their culture - a culture that has survived years of oppression - are mocked, sexualized, trivialized on a daily basis. their voices are still stifled, or are twisted to fit the bill of the “angry black woman”. and still they prevail.
simone biles is a sixteen year old girl who has undoubtedly had to face this reality every day of her life. simone is a black girl living in a white girl’s sport, where even coaches of the biggest teams associate her skin with power and brutality and white skin with grace and elegance. simone is a girl living in an age where white girls think it’s okay to call a black girl their slave. simone has overcome so much just by being a black woman in this country, and will overcome so much by persevering through the injustice.
through all this adversity, simone has flourished. she has silenced her naysayers and has not let those obstacles stop her from climbing to the top of the podium - and picking up a few other medals on her way. she has proved to women of color everywhere that it is possible to win in this sport that is so heavily skewed against us. she has proven that determination, dedication, and drive can make what seems to be impossible a tangible goal - all while being a black woman.
so don’t you dare sit there and say that what carlotta says was okay. don’t you dare just say that it ‘MAY have been rude’ and that ‘she’s got a point’. there were a million different ways she could have expressed the sentiment that ferrari should have medaled - and she chose racism. don’t sit there behind a computer screen and defend racism. don’t you dare disrespect simone that way.
simone has had every card working against her as a black woman in this country, and in this world. and yet she has decided to play by her own rules - to overcome those adversities and to be BOTH a champion AND a strong black woman. don’t you dare erase that achievement by standing by carlotta’s words. having a black face has never been associated with winning in this country, or in this sport - having a black face has brought obstacles upon obstacles and is seen as a setback rather than a way to move forward, which is so inherently wrong it’s unbelievable. don’t you dare stand up for a girl who thinks she can erase all that inequality, all those years of sacrifice and oppression, and wear simone’s skin color to get to the top.
what really got simone onto those podiums was her fighting spirit, her resilience, her talent, her dedication, all those hours spent in the gym and then some - not her skin color. she is a woman of color, she is a black woman, she is strong and courageous and beautiful and she is a champion. don’t you ever try to lessen that or take it away from her by standing on the side of the oppressor.
Jaime's Gym Aristocracy Meme: Ana Porgras 2/∞
She has 'it'. It isn’t just her long legs- though they do help- it is the way she uses them. It isn’t just her good looks- and she is beautiful- but her natural presence. It isn’t just her skills- and they are great- but the way she infuses them with style and her special, indefinable quality.
There is not much I can say about Ana Porgras that hasn’t already been said, or photographed or made into a montage. Porgras is our archetype of the ideal gymnast- beautiful elegant, powerful and skilled.
She is the ghost of a gymnastics past we will never, ever get back. -Brigid McCarthy [x]